The Auto Body Experience

25 Feb, 2016 | Oliwia Rogala


"My family will open a beer and pour it all over me. For my luck. For our luck."

                                  Illustration: Oscar Zalles

Finally the time has come. Today is my day. My family and I have to leave La Paz early. The drive to Copacabana takes around three hours and we will probably have to wait in a long queue. But that is fine because we will be waiting outside the beautiful Basílica de la Virgen de la Candelaria de Copacabana. Or maybe even by Lake Titicaca. The sun will reflect from the water like a sign from God. And it is all for me.

We cannot be late, I have been waiting too long for this. My new family need me to do this. They trust me and I cannot let them down. They will take time to wait with me, they will dress me in beautiful fresh flowers. It certainly will be a kantuta, the national flower of Bolivia, and gladiolus. They probably will be red and white in colour, but maybe my family will surprise me by adding some more!

I might even have ribbons tied all around me. There will be a picture of the Virgin of Copacabana that will always look after me, in every moment of my existence. When it will finally be my time, the priest will come and pray to the Virgin. For me, for my family. For our safety. So I can always protect my family, never put them in danger. So I will be healthy for a long time.

And the best part is, I will finally receive a name! I think it may be Santiago, but I could be wrong. I just heard my family mentioning it a few times while talking about me. I really like it. After Saint James. It will just add to my blessing and happiness.

Afterwards, my family will open a beer and pour it all over me. For my luck. For our luck.

This is a really big day for me. Even if the ceremony won’t last more than 15 minutes, whether we go straight back home or celebrate with a dinner. It will be the most important day for me, the day I’m born again, the day I emerge in my new life, as Santiago.

I will do everything to shield my family when they drive me. I will be the best car my family ever had.


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